On the distinction between urgency and busy-ness
From a friend of mine who recently returned from a short-term missions trip to Kenya... this really gave me pause.
Fresh off the boat from developing rural Kenya, with its 10 thriving Bible-based churches of roughly 100 despite less than 50% saturation of Printed Bible Techology...
I return to a culture where busy-ness is king, a sense of unlimited social networking potential, unlimited opportunities, a sense that "your network is your net worth" A overflowing inbox that informs me of all the meetings from various groups that I've been a part of.. a mulitude of projects I overcommited to. =)
Underlying the frantic din of our gigahertz life, a false hope that if we go fast enough, accomplish more, we can cram an eternity of work into our limited lifetime. Yet only the work we do for the kingdom will last for eternity. I was encouraged by this passage, which leaves me with a sense of urgency but not of busy-ness.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Because of this trip, and some of the circumstances surrounding it, I've been wrestling with ideas of community, urgency, the importance of the Word and prayer, busy-ness, work/ministry and appropriate use of technology.
"The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare. So urgent is the charity of those through whom the streams of heavenly doctrine flow to us, that they want to pour it forth before they have been filled; they are more ready to speak than to listen, impatient to teach what they have not grasped, and full of presumption to govern others while they know not how to govern themselves."
‾ from Bernard of Clairvaux's 18th Sermon on the Song of Songs 12th century